A Unite member who was off work for more than 20 months following a workplace accident has received £35,000 in compensation.

John Kelly, 61, from Kingstanding in Birmingham needed surgery on his shoulder and received intensive physiotherapy following the accident at Sertac Group Holdings in Coleshill, Birmingham.

The tool setter for the automotive components company tripped on a piece of metal flooring which hadn’t been bolted down properly in June 2007. Staff members had made complaints to the company about the hazard before the accident but it was not fixed.

Broken Finger, injured shoulder and injured knee

He broke his left finger, severed the muscles in his shoulder and damaged his knee. He needed surgery to correct his shoulder and has only just returned to work on light duties.

Following the accident he contacted his union, Unite, which instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for accident compensation.

Sertac Group Holdings admitted liability and settled the claim out of court.

Off work after accident and lost wages

Mr Kelly said he decided to claim compensation because he was concerned about the amount of time he was off work sick and the wages he had lost as a result.

He said: “I still can’t believe I was off work for so long from simply tripping and falling. It has been a long haul getting myself well enough so I can go back to work on light duties. During the last 20 months I’ve lost a lot of wages so it was important to claim compensation to recover the money.”

Gerard Coyne from Unite added: “While some employers present attention to health and safety as a burden this case shows how attention to detail can prevent a serious accident."

“Mr Kelly has endured a long 20 months to get him back to work. This could have been avoided had regular checks been carried out to make sure the flooring was properly in place.”

Daniel Elder from Thompsons Solicitors added: “This is a classic example of a seemingly minor accident resulting in serious injury. Members of staff had already complained about the faulty flooring yet nothing had been done to correct it.”